Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Group 1) | 1m | 3yo+ | ITV4/RTV
There are no weak Group 1s but equally they cannot all be the Arc, and the Falmouth Stakes is generally seen as one of Britain's lesser top-grade events. That would definitely apply if we ignore sex considerations, with the race's ten-year average winning performance being slightly lower than that of its closest cousin, October's Sun Chariot Stakes.
Mentioning as much is not to stick the boot in, but instead serves a practical purpose for those trying to find the winner. It also underlines the power of Terebellum's form, as she came within a head of winning the Queen Anne last time.
Terebellum was just touched off by Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot and pulled three lengths clear of the rest. The pack was headed by Marie's Diamond, though, which serves as a reminder that the older milers' division in general is not a strong one.
Terebellum's Queen Anne form is about 1lb higher than the average winning performance in the Falmouth, so she is clearly good enough to be treated as the warm order the market implies.
The favourite made her name over 1m2f, so it might be assumed that stamina is the major advantage she would hold on some of her chief rivals. One Master is a prime example. This admirable six-year-old was second last year in both this race (on good to firm) and the Champions Sprint at Ascot. She is most comfortable at 7f, having won the last two runnings of the Prix de la Foret, so is speedy for a miler.
Nazeef would probably stay a bit further, but her main attribute is a potent turn of foot. At least that is the visual impression. It is worth pointing out that the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, which she won on the same afternoon as the Queen Anne was run, was run at a much more even gallop.
Allowing for the weights she and Terebellum carried the times they recorded were very similar, but the latter did so much less efficiently and deserves to be marked up for it. This also questions the assumption that, if they were to sprint from the start of the dip, Nazeef would be the better equipped.
That might well be a scenario worth pondering, as there is no established front-runner in the race. Agincourt is a part-timer and the one to watch in the first furlong or so, but when there is indecision never discount Dettori and it is not out of the question that he will attempt to make all on Terebellum.
Gosden fields two in bid for third Falmouth
John Gosden is bidding to win the Falmouth for a third time and believes Terebellum has what it takes after her impressive performance in defeat at Royal Ascot.
The short-priced favourite for this race was just touched off in the Queen Anne Stakes by the ultra-tough Circus Maximus and is back against her own sex on this occasion.
Ascot was her first attempt at a mile having raced exclusively at a mile and a quarter before that run but considering she was in front over a furlong out, sticking at a mile should cause her no problems.
"Terebellum showed a great attitude at Royal Ascot and should have every chance of going one better in a fillies-only race," said Gosden.
The trainer also fields Nazeef, winner of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot and unbeaten on her last five starts.
She needed every yard of Ascot's stiff mile to peg back the reopposing Agincourt, and tackles the top level for the first time in her career.
"Nazeef was successful in a fillies' Group 2 so it will be interesting to see how she fares," said Gosden. "They both ran brilliant races at Royal Ascot and both should not mind some cut in the ground."
Bringing a different strand of Royal Ascot form to the race is the admirable One Master, who steps up in trip having finished sixth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 6f.
A specialist at 7f, One Master has landed the last two runnings of the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp and both the recent rain and the fact Pierre-Charles Boudot, who partnered her to both Group 1 successes, takes the ride again, appear to be considerable positives.
Trainer William Haggas said: "The rain is good news but it's the same old story as every year, will she stay the trip? She'll definitely like the ground and she ran well in the Diamond Jubilee despite the ground turning quite quick by the Saturday of Ascot.
"Pierre-Charles Boudot likes her and was keen to come over to ride, and we're delighted to have him."
What they say
David O'Meara, trainer of Agincourt
She’s a lovely, late-maturing mare and we were not surprised by how well she ran at Ascot and, if she runs as she did there, she should be involved in the finish. She seems pretty adaptable and is also versatile with regards the ground.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Billesdon Brook
She ran a good race at Chelmsford but bumped into an improving filly who was given an enterprising ride from the front and they just couldn’t catch her. John Gosden looks to have the race covered but we’ll be doing our very best.
James Tate, trainer of Under The Stars
She's a great filly and has never disappointed. She's coming off the back of a nice win at Haydock despite a bad draw and she deserves to get some Group 1 black type. She was only beaten a couple of lengths in the Moyglare and she ran respectably in the Guineas when she was too fresh and keen early. I think this smaller field of the Falmouth will suit her and we're looking forward to the race.